Hôtel de la Herse d’Or
20 rue St-Antoine, 4th.
Tel 01 48 87 84 09. Fax 01 48 87 94 01.
M° St-Paul or Bastille.
This is one of the few budget hotels in Paris which is both centrally located in the Marais district (just a baguette toss away from the Place de la Bastille) AND charming. It’s a friendly, family-run hotel full of old-fashioned Parisian character. The building itself is 400 years old and has been a hotel for more than two centuries. Guests enter through a small, sky-lit lobby with exposed stone walls and a mosaic-tiled fountain. Beyond is a spacious reception area and lounge with exposed wooden beams separating the breakfast area from the small sitting area. A computer station is available for guest use.
There’s no elevator, just a steep stone staircase winding its way up to the 35 rooms, each painted in pale blue, rose, or yellow. Furnishings are a mix of basic modern furnishings and a few vintage pieces thrown in here and there. The rooms are by no means luxurious or even stylish, but little touches add to the ambience, such as the real marble mantelpieces in some rooms.
In 2006 all of the carpet was replaced, the walls freshly painted, and the bathrooms retiled. No air conditioning (at this price?!), but rooms are equipped with a televisions, telephones, and hair dryers. Some have private bathrooms with shower or bathtub and toilet, while others have a tiled corner with a sink (these rooms are the cheapest; shared showers and toilets are on each floor). What’s really great about this hotel is the staff’s friendly, welcoming demeanor. They can readily recommend places to visit in the Marais and around Paris, and can reserve restaurants, theater, or sightseeing excursions. They speak English and German in addition to French.
35 rooms, free WiFi, luggage storage room, public parking garage next door (fee). Doubles from €55.
This review was originally written for the best budget hotel site on the web, Eurocheapo.com.